Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Limpag: Donnie and Pacman

A FEW days before the barnyard dung hit the fan, SunStar Superbalita sports editor Jun Migallen posted a photo of him and former world champion Donnie Nietes and my first thought was that for a boxer who has been out of the ring for over a year, he still looks in shape.

According to Junmigs, Nietes is busying himself with his trucking business as his business in the ring seems to be going nowhere.

His last fight was on Dec. 31, 2018, when he won the WBO super flyweight title in Japan against Kazuto Ioka but three months later, he vacated the belt instead of fighting Aston Palicte anew in his first defense.

“I hope to seek bigger fights with the world champions of the other organizations. It may or may not happen, but I believe this is the right decision under this situation,” he said then.

Well, that “may not” became “did not” and none of the big names in the division -- Juan Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Roman Gonzales -- have shown any inkling of fighting him. Knowing Nietes’ caliber, they may have seen him as a high-risk, low-reward kind of fight and is steering clear of him.

Can ALA Promotions still somehow manage to conjure something and get its prized ward a title fight before he gets closer to 40? Which reminds me of a headline I saw a few days back, “What would Covid-19 do to the remainder of Pacquiao’s career?”

Pacman’s time in the ring is limited and with the current state of global affairs, I don’t think we are going to see some changes in world sports in the next two months.

And how do you think would the Filipinos feel if the senator’s first order of business once the cloud of Covid-19 clears up is to fight?

Like Manny, Donnie’s time in the ring is limited and like Manny, his options for foes are limited. His name is firmly established and his record is secure and I think it would be a step back if he’d take on relative unknowns who haven’t made a name for themselves.

But with options getting limited, what’s left for him?

I wish I knew. Donnie is one of my favorite athletes -- not just in boxing -- and his story is worth emulating.

A hero to many, I hope Donnie gets one more fight, even if it’s going to be his swan song. He deserves it.

SPORTS ON TV. The most interesting “live” action I saw recently was a marble race commentated on ala F1. It was interesting but it was two minutes long.

Sure, there are also interesting two-minute sports clips out there but there’s a limit to the number of 120-second clips you can see in a day, right?

That’s why a suggestion to have some of the Azkals matches re-aired on TV had me piqued. My No. 1 suggestion would be the Philippines vs. Singapore match in Cebu, the first Fifa-friendly hosted in the City back in 2012.

Most of the Cebu fans were there in the stands and I’ve always wanted to see how that played out on TV, especially the sound of the crowd when Ed Sacapaño made that late penalty save. Of course, I’d also love to see the Kaholeros, who sang all game long.

I hope we can make that happen.


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